Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Great Moments in Open Government: Jonathan Stickland witch-hunt committee meets....
"But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine."
Today's interim hearing of the Texas House's committee "on General Investigation and Ethics" was intended to discuss the status of the investigation into the incident between Jonathan Stickland and Joe Pickett this past April. Apparently, DPS has finished their investigation. Instead, the "hearing" illustrated everything wrong with the Texas House under Joe Straus' "leadership."
The committee went into executive session less than a minute after gaveling in.
While in executive session, they heard testimony from DPS regarding their investigation. Yes, you read that right, they ACTUALLY took testimony from a state agency behind closed doors. While technically legal, this was BEYOND shady.
Making matters worse, when the committee emerged from executive session, House Parliamentarian Chris Greisel emerged with them. Greisel is a witness in this case and had no business meeting with the committee in any setting other than a public hearing. Only God and the committee knows what they discussed in there (and they certainly aren't going to tell this website).
When the committee returned, Rep. Todd Hunter ("R" -- Corpus Christi) made a motion to increase training in House rules for legislative staff that passed unanimously.
The committee then explained that, while DPS had closed their investigation, their own investigation remained ongoing. They declined to set a date for the next hearing. They then adjourned subject to the call of the chair.
Bottom Line: How weak must their case be if they had to spend all afternoon behind closed doors?!?
UPDATE: The Trib has more here.
UPDATE II: The Houston Chronicle has more here.